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Memorial Day “Buddy Poppy” Distribution Cancelled

Memorial Day Buddy Poppy Distribution Cancelled

It’s time for “Virtual” Poppy Drives 

by Jim Blossey 

“Would you wear a poppy in honor of our fallen comrades?”

Memorial Day Buddy Poppy Distribution Cancelled

Rain or shine, every Memorial Day weekend members of Edmonds Post 8870 of Veterans of Foreign Wars—combat veterans all—stand outside of area supermarkets offering passersby a small replica of a poppy and inviting them to wear it. 

It is free; we never charge for it. we just want people to wear it as a way to let others know that they appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf. 

Very often, people choose to leave a donation anyway. The Post uses the funds to support needy veterans in many ways: holiday gifts for residents of local veterans homes, temporary housing for families of hospitalized veterans, placing wreaths on veterans’ graves and many more. 

And there’s the rub. With the Social Distancing prohibitions this year, our veterans can’t be out there. As a result, Memorial Day donations are likely to drop to zero and sadly our ability to continue to help worthy veterans will come to a halt, too.

Unless, that is, we can get folks to click over to the Post’s website at https://vfw8870.org and hit the donate button. It doesn’t have to be a lot; anything will help. It is amazing how quickly the dollars accrue. We will be running an ad with a link to our web page in MyEdmondsNews.com and perhaps some other local media in support of this effort. That ad is shown below. 

Another way you can help is to share this message on your Facebook page, or with your email contacts. You can go to our page (click here) and share it to your friends and readers. Or just copy this message and post it. Everything you do helps us help those that did so much for us. 

Matching funds available! Post member Ron Clyborne and his wife Michelle have committed to matching funds of up to $ 1,500.00. Early donors have the opportunity to double their contribution with the Clybornes’ generous offer. 

Final Landing for Buck Weaver

by Fred Apgar 

On May 2, 22020, our nation and our Post lost one of its great American heroes. Robert “Buck” Weaver passed away at the age of 101, Buck left a legacy of being a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, respected member of the community, and friend. I join my comrades of VFW Post #8870 in extending our heartfelt condolences to Buck’s family. 

Final Landing for Buck Weaver

Buck Weaver was born in 1918 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the fourth child in a family with two brothers and a sister. Buck was active in sports in high school and graduated 1936. Since jobs were scarce in those days, Buck enlisted in the Ohio National Guard Cavalry. Buck pursued a pre-dental program at the University of Cincinnati but his plans to become a dentist were placed on hold when with the start of WW II. In September 1941, he was sworn into the Army Air Corps and reported for primary training at Grider Field in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A month later, Buck soloed in the PT-19A trainer and completed the pilot training program in April 1942, earning his wings

Final Landing for Buck Weaver

After flying anti-submarine missions off the coast of California for six months, Buck transitioned into the P-39. Upon completion of the program in September 1943, Buck found himself on a troop ship on his way to New Guinea. Buck and the other members of the 41st Fighter Squadron would be flying bomber escort, dive bombing, and combat air patrol missions in the South Pacific in support of the “island hopping campaign”. After the war, Buck left the Army Air Corps to return to his dental studies, earning his DDS four years later. He returned to active duty status in what had then become the Air Force and served in the Dental Corps for the next 25 years. In 1975, Buck retired from the Air Force with the rank of Colonel. 

Buck was preceded in death by his loving wife, Bettina. They had moved to Edmonds in 1996, to be near their four children and their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Buck will be sorely missed. 

In Memoriam

Charter Draped for Two Departed Comrades 

We are mourning the loss of and draping our charter for two Life Members of Post 8870 this month. In addition to the recent loss of our dear friend and comrade Robert (Buck) Weaver, we learned recently of the passing during 2019 of William Garber. Garber was a resident of Greenbank, Whidbey Island and has not recently been active in the post. Regretfully, we have no other information about Garber, his life or his service, but still we mourn the loss of another comrade in arms. Rest in peace William, along with your brother Buck. 

VFW Auxiliary

VFW Auxiliary

The Auxiliary, like the post itself is meeting via Zoom. The May meeting was scheduled for May 14 at 12 :00 noon, at which officers were to be installed for the coming years. The new officers are: 

President: Jo Boyett
Sr. Vice Pres.: Carrie Bridgford
Jr. Vice Pres: none
Treasurer: Patsy Ethridge Neal 
Conductor: Carrie Bridgford
Guard: Carrie Bridgford
Trustee: Janet Callahan. 

“Virtual” Post Meetings Inaugurated

Virtual Post Meetings Innaugurated

The photo above shows how our post meeting looked last month, and apparently will continue in the foreseeable future, as long as the Covid19 pandemic keeps things shut down. The meeting was held online in the “Zoom” application. Past Commander Jim Traner, who maintains a pro level Zoom account for his business, kindly allowed the use of his account and set the link up for the meeting. The link was then sent out to all members on the email list to allow everyone to join on line. 27 members joined us. (The photo reflects a smaller number and I believe was taken early as members were logging on.)

Elections of officers for the coming year were held, and the slate selected at the April staff meeting (also held in the Zoom format) was proposed and unanimously approved by all in attendance. The only change in officers from last year is Alden Gilliland as our new Post Service officer. Alden is working his way through the Service Officers training materials and is ready to do what he can to help veterans in need. 

A proposal to fund the Veterans flagpole and memorial plaque at the new Edmonds Waterfront Center (formerly the South Snohomish County Senior Center) in the amount of $ 2,000.00 from the Post Relief Fund was made with a unanimous favorable vote. 

Our usual Memorial Day observance at the cemetery has been cancelled as has our Poppy Drive at the local stores. We are planning a “virtual” poppy drive, using online ads which will be discussed in more detail elsewhere in this newsletter. 

We have also learned this week that the annual Edmonds 4th of July parade and fireworks will not be held this year. Crowds at those events approach 20,000, far above the size of gathering permitted under current health guidelines. 

We urge all members to log on to the link which will be sent via email for our May 20 meeting. The meeting will start at 6:00 PM , as usual. (p.s., you’ll have to make your own dinner.) 

2020-21 Post Officers to be Installed

2020-21 Post Officers to be Installed

Elections were held at the April Post meeting for Post 8870 leadership for the coming year. Here is the list of officers for the next VFW year, to be installed at the May meeting. 

Commander: Rose Gilliland 
Sr. Vice Commander: Carl Kurfuss 
Jr. Vice Commander: Duane Bowman 
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson 
Chaplain: Dan Doyle 
Adjutant: Jim Murdock 
Judge Advocate: Jim Traner 
Surgeon: Jay Hansen 
Service Officer: Alden Gilliland 
Trustee: Mike Denton 
Trustee: Kerry Watkins 

Memorial Day Observance Covid Style

Every year on Memorial Day, the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery Board chooses one or more Edmonds veterans, or groups of veterans to be honored with ceremonies, speeches, music and presentations of memorabilia. The plan for 2020 was an observance of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and some specific Edmonds resident veterans of that conflict. Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, the annual ceremonies at the cemetery have been cancelled for this year. 

Memorial Day Observance Covid Style

As part of the preparation for the event, Edmonds resident sketch artist, and Post 8870 member Michael Reagan prepared a sketch portrait of the late John W. (Wild Bill) Crump, which was to have been presented to Crump’s family on Memorial Day. Crump was an Army Air Corps pilot, flying P40, P47 and P51 fighters out of England against Germany, accompanied by his pet coyote “Jeep”. Those interested can find details of his Air Force career and his many contributions to the Edmonds community, not to mention the story of “Jeep” (to our knowledge, the only coyote ever to fly second seat in an Air Corps combat mission) at a web site prepared by his son Bob which you will find at: http://wildbillcrump.com/

Since were were unable to follow the original plan, Reagan and a few members of our Post gathered (appropriately socially distanced of course) on Sunday, May 3 at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza to present Reagan’s portrait of their father to two of Crump’s sons. The portrait is of Crump in the cockpit of his fighter with “Jeep”. 

In the photo are, (L to R) Mike Reagan, Erik Crump and Bob Crump.